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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1332 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2019 :  21:21:53  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On clerical spell list

@jayeedgecliff
@TheEdVerse Lately been digging through a lot of old 1e/2e/3e/5e material for various reasons and discovered an interesting detail: depending on book, assumption is either ding level gives cleric new spells because divine inspire. Or level, now visit temple and study a tome and at mercy of what their priests know (or get taught by a mentor, same difference) and visit another temple could mean learn more even of low level spells. Or yet still ding, level, praying that night get a visit from a Servitor who says “special delivery!”. What of these, or of altogether different is more appropriate for the Realms? I mean I strongly suspect “all of the above plus 73 others depending upon the god” but I play a lot of clerics, seems worthwhile to ask. Thanks.

@TheEdVerse
Heh. All of the above plus 73 others...ahem. The deity (or servitors) customarily sends a new spell into the dreaming or praying mind of a priest, complete with how to use it/moral lessons for using it "short movies." Temples provide instruction, to make sure spells aren't "missed" from the roster of a particular priest, and to reinforce the do's and don'ts of when the priesthood thinks they can be cast/how they should be used.
#Realmslore




Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Dravian
Acolyte

USA
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Posted - 31 Jan 2019 :  23:14:15  Show Profile  Visit Dravian's Homepage Send Dravian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

This answer:

quote:

@AdamDravian
Ed, thank you so much for indulging my curiousity, but this now brings up another question. Since gods hear whenever their name is spoken (as a kind of cacophonous white noise), doesn’t that confuse things if the god’s name is the same as a common word, like “soon” or “mask”?


@TheEdVerse
Yes. Even gods can't concentrate on everything at once (though if they've ALREADY decided to focus on particular individuals or places, they CAN filter out everything else and "be there" as eavesdroppers). And a good thing for us mortals, too! We get away with a lot that gods might otherwise punish. (You might say the art of being an effective god is mastery of multitasking.) Please note: when a deity's name is uttered in prayer, in a temple, while clutching a holy symbol, or by a paladin or someone making a sacrifice/offering, it "sounds different" to divine ears (and so can be told apart from other utterances and soundalikes, so someone saying "mask that before you paint the trim" or "The bread'll be done soon" isn't heard by those deities in the same tone as their names).


Gives me great pause as I know of at least two instances of a deity's temple being corrupted or taken over by an evil god and nothing happening in terms of divine retribution or ANY kind of response from a deity when their name is being used to do something completely counter to their ethos. The one we discussed here was when a temple of Tymora(I think?) was being run by a child molesting priest that assaulted young Artemis, and apparently nothing came of it for decades. You'd think that gods who know when their name is being spoken in a temple would realise something awful is going on by someone pretending to be their priests. Sigh.

The other was when a temple of selune was taken over secretly by Cyric/Shar and apparently Selune didn't know about it...which I could actually understand a bit more since Cyric and Shar have lies and secrets in their portfolio and would try to cover this up with their divine power, unlike just a rogue sex offender pretending to be a goodly priest which SHOULD NEVER EVER GO UNCHECKED BY A GOD IF THEY CAN DO WHAT ED SAYS THEY CAN DO HERE.



As best as I can see, it's possible for one deity to hide things from another deity, even in the latter's own temple. Look at Vhaeraun and the traitor-priestesses of Lolth.

Honestly, I do agree with you; both examples you cite seem to have occurred because existing lore was not adhered to. I can't speak to the first example (I long ago stopped reading those novels), but in the second case, it was written in an era where Plot and Kewl were far more important than minor concerns like sticking to established lore.

So I look to examples where we know of things happening below divine radar, but having an explanation, and I extrapolate.



I'm the one who asked Ed this question. I had been specifically asking him about his home Realms, precisely because I wanted him to be able to answer without having to navigate the minefield of published lore. So perhaps in Ed's home Realms, the scenarios you mention wouldn't be possible.

I write an R-rated '80s-themed action-comedy webcomic called Satan Ninja 198X; you can check it out at http://satanninja.com
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Feb 2019 :  03:27:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In Spelljammer lore, a cleric can regain 1st and 2nd level spells, even when entirely cut off from their deity.

In the Realms, if a greater doppelganger eats a divine caster type, they can still get spells/abilities of 1st and 2nd level.

This to me suggests that there's a cutoff at 3rd level where the deity actually has to pay attention to grant spells and such. So someone could stay off the divine radar, so to speak, by keeping their castings and such minimal.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:15:18  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the winds west of the Evermoors:

Jan 26, 2019

@pukunui81
What are the prevailing winds west of the Evermoors like? Are they mostly westerlies coming off the ocean?


@TheEdVerse
You have the right of it: mostly westerlies, coming off the ocean. :}#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:16:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On making Waterdeep seem more alive:

Jan 22, 2019

@samuraibill
I'll be starting a campaign soon set in Waterdeep with several great friends. I wondered if @TheEdVerse had any tips on making the city seem more alive? Thank you for the Forgotten Realms!!!


@TheEdVerse
Sure! Write up a quick news and rumors page (don't have time? search for all of my #StormtalonsWhispers here on Twitter and change the names to places in the Realms) so you can always have NPC gossip and chatter, wherever the PCs go. List 20 or so "street traffic" sights (wagons that look like X and are loaded with Y, handcarts ditto, workers rushing places, shoppers strolling, etc.) so you can CONSTANTLY describe what the PCs see, so the city always feels alive and bustling, and never a lifeless backdrop that responds only to PC actions. Always mention the weather (fog off harbor? cold winds off sea? breezes? hot/cold/damp?) and what smells and sounds the breezes bring. Remind PCs that 1000s of lives are unfolding around them (=1000s of adventures!).#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:17:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On wines in Menzoberranzan:

3 Feb 2019

@nobile_bill
Hey Ed. What is some common wines in menzo? Not just Lichen wine


@TheEdVerse
After lichen wine, common Menzo vintages, as opposed to secret house recipes, are but two:
Luthquil, a syrupy-thick, smoky-flavored translucent emerald green wine derived from a particular crushed Underdark mushroom.

And:
Roavrae, a blended wine of a particular boiled cave moss mixed with the internal juices of a specific Underdark spider, the “roave” (a plentiful small black scuttling spider; five can fit on a typical adult human palm).

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:18:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On technological development:

1 Feb 2019

@ZeromaruX
Hi @TheEdVerse, how are you? I have a question about Laerakond. Are they most advanced technologically in contrast to Faerűn? I mean, in an Eberron sort of way, like having warforged or magic-powered machines (rather than magical machines).

Thanks in advance :)


@TheEdVerse
No, they’re about the same tech level as Faerűn (I say “about” because tech level varies, of course, from place to place across Laerakond). There are some “mad inventors” who are experimenting with both steam power beyond huge stationary engines, and with “powered armor” automatons driven by gears and internal walking-wheels, in Ramekho in the Windrise Ports, but they represent the foremost “bleeding edge” tech advances right now.


@ZeromaruX
Thanks, Ed. I see that the Realms are low technology despite having the resources and geniuses to be more advanced in that regard than they currently are.

Is there any reason for this?


@TheEdVerse
Sure. Wars, diseases, food shortages, and magic. Those on top currently wanting to stay there. So many inventors get attacked, their work destroyed, or more often seized by a local ruler/powerful person who wants it for themselves. Meaning it doesn't get into widespread distribution, which is the key step in advancing tech. Magic is "easier" and already available, for heavy hitting. Experimentation is dangerous. Really transformative tech, like a widespread system of really good roads, water purification and pumping, etc. is a LOT of hard work and prohibitively expensive for almost everyone short of governing rulers...who are already on top and mistrust transformative change because it could threaten their status. BUT the Realms is on the brink of surging ahead in technology in a lot of places. That's one of the reasons play and tales are set "now," in this era of quickening change, a time that "matters." We've had Realms novels (@PhilAthans penned the Watercourse trilogy) that looked at big engineering projects and many books (for example, The City of the Dead novel by @rosemaryjones ) that look at social change happening before our eyes. It's up to individual DMs if something big "happens" in their Realms campaigns; we're leaving the agency to you. You can build the rail lines that cross continents. Look at the Zhentarim; they began as a way for Manshoon and cronies to seize local power (in Zhentil Keep), but the reward he was offering to the mages who joined was wealth...thanks to cornering the shortest/fastest/most profitable trade route between the mineral-rich Moonsea North and the Sword Coast's markets and food and textiles. Look at the Zhentarim again and how they got sidetracked into internal strife and other goals. Life has a habit of doing that to endeavours, which is why tech levels have for so long ebbed and flowed near the brink of a big surge forward.
Over to you, and Realms roleplayers everywhere, to see if the advances happen.


@Daisemiin
Lets not forget, active Gods and their priesthoods. Many of whom probably arent interested in new gods arising of technology based cults. I know there was at least one in 2nd Ed FR, And lands like Eberron might have several.


@TheEdVerse
Very good point!

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:19:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On post-Sundering earth motes:

Jan 13, 2019

@jvcparry
As of 5th Edition, are there still earth motes dotting the Sword Coast? I know there was one in ToA, but what about those near Neverwinter? Fisher’s Float etc.


@TheEdVerse
There are still some earth motes, but ... during the last separation of the Sundering, as Abeir and Toril moved apart again, many earth motes moved. A few “went with” Abeir, and a handful crashed to earth (or into a mountainside).

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:20:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
ţOn transgender or non-binary individuals:

Feb 1, 2019

@jayeedgecliff
I should preamble a little, because for reasons that break the gods’ brains some would ask this looking to trap a creator or some similarly juvenile nonsense. I’m an author, I know well that setting & characters are not the creator not reflective of her values

By the same measure I’m aware that in the grand scheme of The Realms every conceivable answer is represented *somewhere* because divers peoples, tribes, nations, etc. I grok.

Across ... Classic Realms: Faerűn, principally the Sea of Fallen Stars, Cormyr, Waterdeep 1e grey box maps region.

What is life like for a transgender or non-binary individual? Especially the former given the existence to such a thing as polymorph magics?

Is it significantly different for rich vs impoverished? Noble vs common, regardless wealth? Zhentilar vs Sembian?

I’d always made certain generalised assumptions about gender equity which I translated over to such matters but then I got to thinking about how on-screen War Wizards seem as much as 4/5 male, Purple Dragons almost exclusively so. Waterhavian Watch not exactly 50/50 but nearer

Zhentarim vibe a might more female, Red Wizards the opposite, and so on. So given a seeming wide swath of mindsets on the roles of sexes perhaps ... gender affirming spellcraft? is maybe a less dull topic than previously envisioned?

I dig if you’d rather pretend this question doesn’t exist. Regardless what you answer *someone* is going to probably have something horrid to say. But I hope even a ha’penny’s worth gem could be begged of you.

Perhaps I should ask: does human vs other make any remarkable differences?
/fin+1


@TheEdVerse
Hi! Great question, because a topic that almost never gets directly addressed in published Realmslore. The Realms is, as you say, a big place, with many regional variations and just as much racism, sexism, and mistrust of “the other” and change than our real world. Bigots are everywhere, it is the nature of most to be at least a touch cynical, and so on. Yet to offset that, beings of any one race in most surface locales in the “classic” Realms coverage areas live with a variety of other races, and see “monsters” from time to time, too (albeit mainly dead, as wall-trophies). And the effects of magic, if not seeing spells hurled in your presence, is widespread, too.

For reasons of body weight and strength, some professions (smithing, professional soldiery, rowing) tend to be dominated by large-bodied males, but by and large (once you get away from Lolth-dominated matriarchies, the Rashemi, and the like) there is gender equality. As in: individuals may be discriminated against on the basis of age/experience, height, hardiness/have all their limbs in working order, and whether or not I like your face, BUT there’s no societal bias of role on the basis of gender. There ARE recruiting officers who go looking for guards of a particular build, size, and even hair color, and the units they assemble reflect that. Vangerdahast wanted female War Wizards “implanted” at Court and as “house wizards” in the households of the nobility he wanted watched over because he thought they were better at fitting in, acting, and being subtle than his young, ambitious male War Wizards (whom he deployed more in combat/action/military support functions, which is why you see them more on-screen), and his too-few really trustworthy and competent senior War Wizards he needed for vital roles (Laspeera being one of those).

Having wealth or status (e.g. nobility) provides a measure of freedom to “be yourself" in every meaning of the word—indulge your eccentricites/hobbies, and so on—so we see more nobles habitually doing “odd” things. Wealth allows those without the Art (gift of wielding magic) to hire spellcasting, so they can experiment with changing their own bodies in various ways, having sex while body-flying, and so on. Such “freedoms” are limited by disapproval/your own thinking depending on your local society (Sembia is very much “do what you want if you have the coin,” whereas modern-day Zhents are always aware of the Zhentarim and their scrutiny and war-readiness and supremacy of wizards and Bane and Zhentarim objectives.

However, magic is most often hired by the non-magical to change their own bodies, usually to make themselves more functional (overcome a withered or malformed or damaged limb, increase handsomeness). More than a few use it to switch gender, either to experiment or fulfill themselves (because they don’t feel comfortable as they are) or to escape persecution (by changing looks and often gender and taking on a new identity, sometimes to elude justice). “Everyone” has seen or at least heard of someone doing this, and it’s not considered crazy so much as “restless.” So although individuals who put on “camp” voices and lisps, and dress and use cosmetics to “outrage” may be ridiculed for such over-the-top behavior, there’s no stigma about changing your gender, nor would most folk in the Realms be repelled by discovering someone they have the hots for as one gender was once another. Nor is homosexuality, “swinging both ways” and dwelling in family groups of several “mates” of mixed races and genders frowned upon, societally. Individuals may find it too much for themselves to handle, but the laws and general attitudes of society don’t frown on it. There are strict laws regarding inheritance among royalty and nobility, but that’s purely to cut down on strife within powerful families and the resulting chaos.

This is, of course, given who was first publishing the Realms (that is, the time and place of publication, and the game and literary market of the time/societal attitudes of the time) something downplayed or even written out of published Realmslore, but from the outset, I thought racism (as in, prejudice against people who have a different skin color than you, or “talk funny” was ridiculous in a world in which elves rub shoulders with dwarves and scaly lizardfolk and talking dragons and talking bugs), and I thought my Realms would be a lot more tolerant than our real world of individuals who weren’t the one-man-one-woman-two-point-five-children-in-house-with-white-picket-fence family.

In my own background, I grew up in a very wealthy neighborhood filled with people from all over the world temporarily stationed in Canada as executives, and my mother died when I was young so I was raised by a tag team of VERY competent and strong-willed grandmothers and maiden aunts, and from age 14 on to right now I have worked in public libraries where almost all of my bosses and co-workers were women, many of them openly lesbian or bisexual, so none of this seemed unusual to me.

Which is a very long-winded way of saying that transgender and non-binary folk can live comfortably and accepted in the Realms, though they may have to pick their neighbors and friends to do so. [fin]

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:22:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the inheritance of gay nobles:


2 Feb 2019

@jayeedgecliff
Replying to @TheEdVerse
Wow! Thank you!
I’d seen an answer to sexuality on Candlekeep ages back. But this goes way deeper.
Given your mention of those strict inherence rules for nobles: how’s the order go for a noble heir who’s gay? Their heir apparent is order go for a noble heir who’s gay? Their heir apparent is … eldest nibling? What if they adopt?

ţ
@TheEdVerse
It varies widely across the Realms, depending either on tradition within those families, or the laws of the realm they're nobles of (same as in the real world: some noble titles descend through the male line, some through female, and so on). Back when I was five or six and first thinking these things through for the Realms, I had to decide what would happen if folk could magically be brought back to life, and decided that to prevent "eternal kings" who just keep getting resurrected or reign as liches, death would knock an individual out of the succession (and we see that in Cormyr: A Novel). In some families, a returned-from-death person would still be considered part of the family and could conceivably "re-inherit" if they were the only one left standing after all other kin died off, while in other cases, particularly if the dead were nasty or unpopular, they would be shunned and kicked out of the family). So the first answer is: it depends. Let's look at Waterdeep and Cormyr, the two gatherings of nobility most seen published Realmslore to date. So: a noble heir who happens to be gay is still the noble heir; they still inherit. If they die without "issue of their body," the succession passes to their next eldest kin (in some families, of a particular gender; in most, gender doesn't matter except in rare cases of twins born at the same moment, in which case there's usually a standing family rule of boy first or girl first; if not, the family would pray to a god of the head of the house's choice for vision-guidance, unless the REALM had a law/rule about this). Adopted children are still noble, but aren't in the succession (they stand outside of it and get "passed over"). For royalty, there are ALWAYS complicated laws, formed by royal decrees over the years that the nobility of the realm support (when they don't, that's when you get civil war and usurpers supported by strong noble factions, and the "new monarch" is usually pressed to issue new decrees making everything clearer and as the majority of the nobles want it). I have left the details of such laws and customs of succession as murky as possible to allow Realms novelists and game designers and individual DMs down the year maximum freedom for storytelling/PC "stakes." If you'd like a model for how to govern in cases of "which of two or three seemingly-equal candidates should inherit," consider first what Jeff and I showed in Cormyr: A Novel of someone not wanting the kingship abdicating in favor of a sibling, then turn to glance at the NFL. Yes, the American professional football league. On their website, before the playoffs/postseason, there's always a link to "tie-breaking procedures" or some such that demonstrates how they decide between two teams that finish with the same points. It's always intrigued me that in the end, after factors are exhausted, it comes down to a coin toss. In the Realms, there'd never be a coin toss; that would be the point at which it would be handed to the gods, to send a sign. (Which, yes, might mean clergy faking something or twisting an interpretation, but no system is perfect.) It's in the conflict and vying for power that many storytelling/roleplaying adventure possibilities arise, after all. Note that in the Realms as in real life, there have been many instances of gay persons managing somehow to have offspring in the usual way, so as not to endanger the succession (they are reared that the maintenance of their house [family] comes before all else, and in most cases would believe and follow that, no matter their personal losses/costs).
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:23:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the structure of Zundbridge:

Nov 20, 2018

@mineirodabahia
hello Ed, need your advice about Zundbridge. Is it a big castle? How big? Does it "gates" the bridge? This is our first sketch based in what we read so far!

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dse5MzgWkAAzBJL.jpg:large


@TheEdVerse
Google "Restormel Castle" for an approximation of the size of Zundkeep. Except, of course, Zundkeep isn't ruined, is on a MUCH higher and rockier bare stone height with a single zigzag road up to it, and has a tall cylindrical main keep tower.


@TheEdVerse
You've drawn a very nice "this would be the smartest defensible way to do this."
What happened: the wizard Zund built a necessary road bridge "in the middle of nowhere," and later soldiery of the Deep came and built a castle on a nearby defensible height overlooking the bridge.


@TheEdVerse
Nice sketch. But the bridge is a massive version of a simple "clapper bridge" (stone slabs atop stone pilings; see Google images of those on Exmoor, etc.). The castle crowns a rocky bluff overlooking one end of it, NOT blocking the road to the bridge, nor attached to the bridge.


@mineirodabahia
Thank you for answering Ed! Straight to the point. Also, are the gaps between the “pillars” wide enough for navigation? And how big is Dessarin? I imagine it’s quite a river, and it seems it would be even bigger by that place, so close to the sea.


@TheEdVerse
The gaps are wide enough for large barges and log booms, not just dinghy-like river craft. In this spot, the Dessarin is a wide, slow, fairly shallow (6-8-foot draft, most places) flow, but with gravel bars (sandbars, but small stones) here and there. So, multi-lane traffic. ;}


@mineirodabahia
Nice! It’s much more “fantastic” then I’ve imagined. It surely fits like a glove in my campaign. Made this one right now, does it seems more accurate? I read that the castle is doubled walled, where this second wall goes?


@TheEdVerse
Look at your forefinger. Imagine it's a top-down view of the castle. The outline of your finger is the outer wall, and the outline of your fingernail (smaller oval within the larger) is the inner wall. Entry gate at knuckle, large outer "ward" (yard) is for stables, livestock, walled gardens, roofed-with-slate woodpiles, etc.
Inside the inner wall is the castle keep itself (built over the well), and it houses armory, dungeons, and living quarters.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:23:48  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Klauth's treasure:

Nov 8, 2018


@DmLucifer
I've been expanding on Klauth in my game and have been wondering about how much treasure does Klauth have laying around?


@TheEdVerse
Klauth has hidden treasure caches all over his demesne (its mapshould still be on the Wizards website: Wyrms of the North archive) as well as his "main" lair. He's a wily veteran who's been piling up the loot for a LONG time (including raking in the hoards of dragons he's slain).

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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:24:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On how long it would take to cross Waterdeep:


Nov 16, 2018

@djtigon
How long would it take (provided one didnt get distracted or stopped along the way), from the South Gate, up The High Road to the Northern Gate leaving the Field Ward heading towards The Sword Mtns. Trying to get a sense of scale of the Deep


@TheEdVerse
Depends on time of year (snow and ice, or not? Crammed-full city, or just those who stay in winter?), time of day (after midnight? or rush hour?), and weather (raining hard, or not?). It can take half a day to traverse the Deep north-south. If you take back streets, and pick your time of day, it can be done in 2 hours without hurrying. At night, carrying lanterns in a large party with Watch escort so you won't get stopped by the Watch, you might manage it in 40 minutes.

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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:26:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Cormyr's Blue Dragons referring to the War Wizards:

Jan 21, 2019

@jayeedgecliff
I gather from Cormry Novel & Stormlight that nobles are likely as not to call war wizards things like “drunken louts” or “voyeuristic nuisance” [paraphrasing] & Purple Dragons have “happy dancing mages” if memory serves.
Do the Blue Dragons have any names for ‘em?


@TheEdVerse
Sure. "Vangey's hounds" (sometimes with "panting" or "baying" or "non-housebroken" added). "Lubberspells" (because they sometimes hurl magic w/o thought for effects on a ship), Also "idiot figureheads." ;}
BTW, all non-nobles in Cormyr call nobles "highnoses." ;}

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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:27:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On clerics learning new spells:

@jayeedgecliff
@TheEdVerse Lately been digging through a lot of old 1e/2e/3e/5e material for various reasons and discovered an interesting detail: depending on book, assumption is either ding level gives cleric new spells because divine inspire. Or level, now visit temple and study a tome and at mercy of what their priests know (or get taught by a mentor, same difference) and visit another temple could mean learn more even of low level spells. Or yet still ding, level, praying that night get a visit from a Servitor who says “special delivery!”. What of these, or of altogether different is more appropriate for the Realms? I mean I strongly suspect “all of the above plus 73 others depending upon the god” but I play a lot of clerics, seems worthwhile to ask. Thanks.

@TheEdVerse
Heh. All of the above plus 73 others...ahem. The deity (or servitors) customarily sends a new spell into the dreaming or praying mind of a priest, complete with how to use it/moral lessons for using it "short movies." Temples provide instruction, to make sure spells aren't "missed" from the roster of a particular priest, and to reinforce the do's and don'ts of when the priesthood thinks they can be cast/how they should be used.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:42:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Volo as an alter ego:

Jan 22, 2019

@zoltan_hagg
Is it true that Volo is a kind of your alter ego in Faerun, just like Tom Bombadil in Tolkien books?


@TheEdVerse
No. I have no alter egos in the Realms. Most folks think Elminster is my alter ego, but the one and only time I put myself into the Realms for a charity roleplaying event, I was "the Questmaster" (hides out in northern High Forest). Volo was created by veteran designer Jeff Grubb

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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:43:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On maps of Neverwinter:


Jan 7, 2019

@Bluzpicker
Dear Mr. Greenwood, I returned to play 5e after 32 years away from D&D. I want to run a 5e campaign in the city of Neverwinter and am seeking details. I'm frustrated I can't locate shops and streets mentioned in canonical materials on a city map. Can you please help?


@TheEdVerse
Sure, but this is something I've answered a LOT, here on Twitter and on Facebook and at Candlekeep. (Where others have answered, too.) You do have the Neverwinter Campaign Setting book, and have looked at the Locations in Neverwinter on the FR wiki, yes?


@Bluzpicker
Thanks for responding to my inquiry. Sorry for wasting your time. I have the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, but no maps of Neverwinter come with street names, only a few buildings identified unlike the Waterdeep maps I have seen. I'll look at Candlekeep. TY


@TheEdVerse
No worries! Here's the first relevant previous tweet of mine: Dannar’s Mechanical Marvels (from Volo's GuidettNorth) stands in the Blacklake District, next door to Jaesor’s Fineware Porcelain Works. Jaesor’s is on the NE corner where The Street Of Storms (which runs along the inside of the NWern run of the city wall) meets Hantor’s Lane, which runs SE. Dannar’s fronts on Hantor’s Lane.
Blackule Lane (which several schools and academies front on) is also in the Blacklake District.
(I'll look for more.) The backlore is that past rulers of Neverwinter forbade publication of maps of the city "for security reasons." Which meant no maps with tags. When Lord Neverember relaxed this, we got maps with individual sites marked...but still no street names. So I've been directing traffic for gamers ever since. ;}


@Bluzpicker
Thanks again. I collected enough fragments of information that I can proceed assigning locations on the excellent map I purchased from Mike Schley. I realize that my assignment of some businesses and shops will be somewhat arbitrary, but will suffice for my campaign purposes.


@TheEdVerse
Great. Some of the shop/building locales are "fuzzy" even when we designers discuss things privately, I'm afraid, because the maps don't QUITE match what was said in fiction prose or in published adventures. The computer game locales don't exactly vie with the maps, either. If I were you, I'd put it down to businesses moving after fires or to upsize while enjoying successes or downsizing because trade is bad, plus the upheavals within the city, and site individual things where they work best for you. ...

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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:44:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On thermometers:

On thermometers

@webjr1981
@TheEdVerse
I know that time-keeping isn't a big deal in the Realms (3 bells, etc), but do thermometers exist?


@ TheEdVerse
"Weather glasses" exist in the Realms: what our real world calls "Galileo thermometers" (sealed glass vessels with mixtures of liquid in them and floating glass sphere "bubbles" to denote various temperatures.


@Greysil_Tassyr
A followup to this question on thermometers: How is temperature actually measured? Is there any kind of scale like Farenheit/Celsius?


@TheEdVerse
There's no numerical scale. Rather, a sensory range, from boiling/scorching to touch through hot, warm, comfortable (as in, the preferred interior temp of a room or dwelling) blood-neutral, pleasant, cool, cold, icy, to numbing.

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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:13:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Azoun IV's romantic conquests:

10 Feb 2019

@Greysil_Tassyr
It's well-known that King Azoun IV was overly fond of feminine company.

Did he have any particular preferences for his romantic partners, or was he more like college fratboy who would hop into bed with any willing woman? And was anyone off-limits, to him?


@TheEdVerse
As King or earlier, Azoun always had a way with ladies, but he did have a moral code he followed. No married women beyond the occasional widow. No silly/stupid partners; what most attracted him was wits (hence marrying Filfaeril) coupled with strong will. No naive
innocents. Class didn't matter (i.e commoner or noble), but he didn't want to exploit anyone poor or desperate. And above all, WILLING (he was most excited when she made the first move, not him), but not in a gold-digging grasping "want to boast I slept with the King" way. Azoun's reputation grew in the gossipy retelling, until most of Cormyr assumed Azoun had bedded every woman in the realm he wanted to, and said women were hurling themselves at him daily. Far from the truth. He was a wild youth, yes.

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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:14:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the best-selling books in Suzail, circa 1357-1360:


8 Feb 2019
ţ
@jayeedgecliff
for the sake of flavour & whimsy may we have a look into the Suzail Times Bestseller List of chapbooks 1e greybox times? I get a vibe from your and other novelists from back then that the top genre is bodice rippers. Any close competition?


@TheEdVerse
Sure. ;} I’ll split this reply so as not to overwhelm Twitter’s limits...

So the Old Gray Box is circa 1357 DR, and at that time Suzail has an avid reading public of all classes, not just wealthy nobility and “wannabe nobles” among the wealthiest rising merchants. It also has a healthy chapbook and broadsheet publishing scene, not to mention bustling playhouses (the nobility tend to “hire in” players to perform in their residences, rather than attending public performances).

Perennial leading bestsellers are, in descending order:

1. Bodice Rippers, especially if they’re thinly-disguised “tell all” adaptations of gossipy “I slept with Lord X or Lady Y or both” revelations.

2. Memoirs of adventuresome lives, either full of derring-do or swindling skullduggery, or travels through vividly-described “exotic locales afar,” or both.

3. Rags-to-riches family saga fiction about plucky rural heroes or heroines who by their wits and boldness ascend into the ranks of the wealthy and/or nobility, overcoming dastardly villains to do so.

4. Family histories of Cormyrean nobility, gentry, rising merchant families, or long-in-service-to-the-Crown folk, sales directly reflecting how entertainingly-written they are, and how salacious/revealing.

5. Useful “how to” chapbooks on making your own wine or clothes, or bestiaries of monsters and varmints/pests and how to deal with them.


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #1 include: Amalthea’s Bright Ventures (steamy sex scenes, and a heroine who likes partners of both genders, is plucky and dense but improbably land-on-her-feet lucky; readers can see troubles and pitfalls she’s blundering into before she does, but she’s merry and naďve and endearing) by Lalandra Thoelur; The Revel At The Naughty Unicorn (a book-length lurid description of the unfolding debaucheries at a revel held by mischievous young nobles at a rented, fictitious Suzailan club in order to catch their elders in compromising situations; it succeeds all too well and involves the club being wrecked and set afire by mischance amid all the lusty doings) by Bors Baskalyn (almost certainly a pen-name, likely of a courtier employed at the Royal Court); and Calathae’s Crossed Blades (the adventures of a crossdressing young country lass of improbably great beauty and sword-skills, who sleeps, duels, and adventures her way through a series of wildly-fictitious noble mansions in search of her True Partner whom she can trust, as opposed to the many partners she finds pleasure with; in the end, Calathae becomes the consort of a widowed lady of high rank, and they live happily ever after, though not before some hot scenes no reader in Suzail wanted to miss, involving sex while tied to the back of a galloping horse).


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #2 include: My Misadventures In Marsember (a thinly-disguised recitation of real-life scandals, swindles, and real-life smuggling in the shadier corners of Marsember, but fictionalized as happening to the purported author, a fictitious adventurer by the name of Randovel Rakesword, which ends with Rakesword enchanted by an evil sorceress into becoming her shapeshifting octopus slave and lover, and lurking with her underwater in Marsember, dragging incautious individuals carrying wealth down to watery dooms); With Sword And Throwing Knives Across Wildest Faerűn (a partly truthful, but embroidered with colorful tales and gossip that in truth came from the adventures of others, account of a successful dungeon-delving and dragonslaying retired adventurer of Suzail, concealing her true identity behind the pseudonym Desmra Daggermask); and Torthur’s Guide To Farthest Toril (a guidebook of dubious accuracy to places all over the world that are distant from Cormyr, which has sprinklings of useful lore about inns, taverns, local attractions, and currency details for some ports) by Aundemand Torthur, who vanished forever a few years later, quite likely eaten by a wilderland monster whilst incautiously answering a call of nature along a caravan road.


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #3 include: High Houses And High Hearts (the tale of how handsome and amiable but coinless and untutored Avander Crickletoad became Avander Crownadar, successful maker of hats and coaches for the nobility, wooed and lost three noble heiresses, and at last lands Lady Dragonwood, a spirited and passionate—and entirely fictitious; no such noble family exists in Cormyr—widow, and becomes Lord Dragonwood) by Nanthaea Joldrall; Blackblades Hall (the saga of the evil, debauched, and decadent Blackblades noble family, who are entirely fictitious and who get justice done to them at swordpoint by plucky heroine Shalambrae Daerove, a swordmaker’s daughter who’s expert with a blade, afire with ‘justice for all, high and low,’ and who falls for the one good scion of the Blackblades, youngest brother Marlynd, and in the end becomes Lady Blackblades to his Lord, when all the rest of the Blackblades have found richly-deserved graves) by Horluth Ansammar; and The Ghost Baron (the saga of how a villainous and fictitious Baron Valandruth was finally brought low by three spirited heroines, though not before he passed into undeath yet continued to mistreat the living, thanks to enchantments laid on him by liches he’d entered into unholy alliances with).


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #4 include: The Talvurs of Talvurgates (the true family history of the Talvur farming family of Dreamer’s Rock, some members of whom served long as Purple Dragons, others taking up adventuring all over Faerűn, one prospecting in the Moonsea North until maimed by ogres, another becoming a successful pirate sailing the Sea of Fallen Stars, and one daughter marrying a guildmaster in Waterdeep and becoming the lover of no less than three nobles at the same time) by Eldethelle Talvur; and By My Plume (the history of the Darendgannon courtier family, whose sigil is a single upright plume, and who have served in the Palace under sixteen Kings of Cormyr, writing down fascinating minor details and gossip of Palace life and the personal characters, hobbies, dress, sayings, and private deeds of many Obarskyrs) by Chaethla Darendgannon, the eighty-six-year-old retired Palace maid and last of the Darendgannons.


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #5 include: The True And Mostly Compleat Bestiarie Of Cadellis Crowlarkyn, Adventurer (a gossipy and in some places useful compendium of the personal experiences of a retired adventuring rogue of long axed moustaches and airily flamboyant “camp” manners, pertaining to wild beasts from stinging insects up to raging wyverns, from how to cook and eat them to how to placate them to smells they dislike to how to best them in battle, a tome Elminster judged “mostly nonsense, but a good read”); and How To Masterfully Fish The Rivers And Rills of Cormyr (a comprehensive and accurate angling guide, complete with maps of precisely where the best spots to take fish are) by Rudrelko Indarjuth.

And there you have it. ;}

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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:16:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On noble party poopers:

8 Feb 2019
ţ
@jayeedgecliff
as Wodehouse proved there’s a great fun and amusement in seeing the Sir Roedericks & Aunt Agathas tormented, embarrassed, and scandalised!

What sorts of notions do these master part poopers hold dear in places like Cormyr? Waterdeep?

What are their lowborn counterparts like?

What do they (high or low born), for sake of example, feel about a noble Lliiran, Sunite, or Sharessan cleric? Of a noble adventuring with commoners?

I suppose the Woosters of the multiverse are probably pretty consistent and
How they horrify their elders.

What of the impish and intelligent? The dabblers in magics, the shrewd but laughing, or the generous & good-natured?

Given you’ve said you’re a fan of P.G.’s works I can envision a lot but the Realms have rather different mores than 1920s aristocratic London. So there’s blanks on this delightful map of social interplay in spite your best efforts in novels. /fin


@TheEdVerse
Right, here we go.
Although it’s inaccurate, rude, and can be frankly dangerous to regard the nobility of either Cormyr or Waterdeep as monolithic, sharing a consistent mindset, moral code, and views (in reality, their wealth or former wealth has led them to indulge their personal eccentricities to a degree that makes them more varied than any other social class in the Realms), the truly crusty (but unstintingly eloquent) Aunt Agatha/Lady Bracknell party poopers tend to believe these things:

Humans are the only TRULY cultured race, and their customs and decisions should hold sway. Even elves and dragons, who may be ancient and PRETEND to sophistication, screwed up badly and so demonstrated their essential unfitness to Be First. WE are First, and rightly so.

Highborn humans are the most cultured of humans; they have grown up surrounded by the ‘right views,’ and so are the most fit to rule. The highborn are the “betters,” and less wellborn are the “lesser,” even if they marry into the nobility ro acquire great wealth, they can never quite overcome the ghastly misfortune of their low birth.

The gods ordain that the highborn should have power over others, and decide things for them. Gods who do not are mistaken, or are not gods. Priests of gods who hold to any other view are deluded fools, or charlatans who were never true believers in their first place, and so are unworthy of their offices.

Society advances through experimentation, so nobles who do odd things are to be tolerated (criticized and hampered, but tolerated) unless they seek to end the status of all nobles, in which case they are mad and must be exterminated lest they endanger high society/the natural order of things/the good of all humankind/all life in the multiverse. So a noble who lowers themselves to try a life of poverty or consorting habitually with commoners or to indulge in unusual religious antics is lost to us, but to be humored and exploited as a source of entertainment (something to gossip about, at least). They may mistakenly think they are ‘broadening themselves,’ but may be moved by the gods to bring about some necessary cultural change or other, at personal cost. Their activities may even be wagered upon without loss of style.

Debauchery is something lower orders indulge in. Nobles who engage in similar activities are merely expressing themselves, or giving vent to innate animal spirits that are personal flaws.

Hopefully they’ll come to their senses before they break all the feather dusters or utterly terrify the horses.

Generosity to the lower classes is not a flaw unless carried to extremes; rather, it is necessary lubricant to keep the lower classes from rising up against us and ruining everything. They can and should be bought, and it is good that someone other than me is out of their minds enough to distribute largesse so that I need not.

Having a sense of humor that one indulges at the expense of one’s elders and betters, rather than kicking the behinds of the lowborn and especially lowborn social climbers and pretenders, is a flaw. One should not poke fun at those better and more experienced than oneself. This is the besetting sin of our straying younglings. Anyone who has too much to do with magic is mad, and dangerous, and to be thwarted. Streaks of madness, allowed to rule those who possess them unchecked, will inevitably lead to the ruin not just of their individual, but of their house. Divert them. Young men/women or gambling will usually suffice.

Being amiable and good-natured is a sign of weakness and low birth. True nobles are clever and even generous, but miss no chance to thrust the barb and demonstrate that they forever judge, and that their judgments are never mistaken. So be witty and jovial, but forgive few slights and forget none at all. Laughing at your elders is insolence, no matter how it is passed off. Such behaviour is to be avenged. Comeuppances should never be far away; I recommend the salted horsewhip.

Though not for Lord Jhalast, as he enjoys it.

{And there you have it. Ah, but I should write a play or two…in my SPARE time…}

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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:16:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On roleplaying Elminster:

9 Feb 2019

@tarthalinor
So my PCs have just recently encountered Elminster in my FR campaign, and it looks like they're going be spending a good amount of time with him, so do you have any tips for roleplaying our favorite wizard appropriately? I want to make sure I'm accurate.

ţ
@TheEdVerse
Elminster is gruff, cantankerous, but kind.

He’s a shrewd judge of all creatures and so is rarely surprised; your PCs should feel like he already knows their secrets and is always one step ahead. With Plans B, C, D, and E up his sleeve if anything goes bad or they turn on him.

He enjoys being mysterious.

Mystra wants him to spread the use of magic throughout the world, so he will always be slipping spell scrolls and little enchanted doodads (like glowstones) to PCs and others, instructing them in spellcasting or warning them of pitfalls (“If ye don’t do thus, be aware that thy fireball will pull to the left.”)

He likes to tease, but never to the point of upsetting (as opposed to annoying) others. He’s a very good actor. He CAN’T be embarrassed, having seen and done it all. Being naked, or covered in filth, or being shown up, won’t bother him or cause the slightest hesitation. He doesn’t get angry, he gets even. He plays the looooong game, planning things years ahead and making deft little arrangements that will lead to consequences years down the road. He doesn’t need to sleep, and never seems to get tired.

He can’t run out of spells, because he can call on the Weave directly to counter magic or to “shape” any magical effect, even if he doesn’t have the spell to cast it. BUT…he firmly believes that the key to mastery of magic is knowing when NOT to use it.

There. That should do for starters. ;}


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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:18:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Seven Sisters, post-Spellplague, and the coast of Velprintalar:

7 Feb 2019
ţ

@JoshuaNeverJosh
Working on an FR adventure about dealing with things left by the Simbul after her death. What's the current status of the other 7 Sisters & Elminster? After the Spellplague & the Sundering, did the coastline of Veltalar ever return to it's original level?


@TheEdVerse
I’m always tempted to answer queries like this with: single, of course, but careful; you’re competing with Mystra!

SPOILERS, EVERYONE!!!!

But seriously: Laeral is Open Lord of Waterdeep and Elminster head of her City Watch (see DEATH MASKS).

Dove, Sylune, Qilue, and The Simbul are all “dead” but are now Voices In The Weave (see SPELLSTORM, THE HERALD and earlier Realmslore), and the current doings of Storm and Alustriel are NDA (so, warning, they WILL be revealed, in time; see also SPELLSTORM and my tales of Mirt).

And yes, the shoreline of the Sea of Fallen Stars in the region of Veltalar/Velprintalar has returned to close to its former location.

“Old Velprintalar” has been slower to come back from half-ruined slum status, so it’s still a haven for monsters, outlaws, and fugitives from justice.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:19:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a yuan-ti having a draconic bloodline:

5 Feb 2019

@Jon_4L
in regards to Dragons and the Creator Race for "Scalykind", are they related, and is it possible a Yuan-Ti could have Draconic Sorcery merely from bloodline connections, or does their transformation typically not include that possibility, or even remove the connection


@TheEdVerse
Yuan-ti began as humans bred with serpents by the sarrukh (who through breeding experiments created other scalykind), but NOT dragons. There is a TINY possibility that a particular yuan-ti might have a draconic bloodline due to an ancestor’s dalliance with a dragon in the past, if the dragon was entering into breeding experiments with yuan-ti for some personal reason, or to create its own servants/scouts/guards, but such unions would be neither common or likely. So it’s (barely) possible (ask your DM), but unlikely and rare indeed.


@Jon_4L
I suspected that would be the case. Thanks for confirming that. Speaking of dragons, I'm reminded that the Tyranny of Dragons is interesting, and reading about all these different events and campaigns makes me think that one would hypothetically be able to time some travels in order to have a party go through part of some of them and then switch over to others. I've seen a connection between Elemental Evil and Storm King's Thunder, and I noticed that Curse of Strahd certainly isn't a story immune to side-tracking if you want to.


@TheEdVerse
Indeed. Credit @ChrisPerkinsDnD and @JeremyECrawford and @mikemearls and the rest of the superbly talented current Wizards D&D crew for designing them thus. A DM can "mix and match" for years of play that's quite different from another campaign 'next door,' so to speak. :}

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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:20:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On falling into the Yawning Portal while drunk:

Feb 3 2019

@HollyConrad
Googles “how many people have fallen Into the Yawning Portal while drunk” because it really seems like a liability lol


@MileyMan1066
ed, your input my good sir???


@TheEdVerse
Heh. All campaigns, who knows? In the home Realms campaign, over 42 real (not in-game) years: 16 drunken topples, 4 falls clowning on the rim-wall, 8 dragged in trying to pull someone out, 7 knocked/pulled in by monsters from below, and 29 shoved in by charging foes.

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